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Finding Safe Online Banks To Park Cash

Friday, January 4, 2013 - 6:57 AM
In the "Ask Matt" article at USA Today, a reader asks "How can investors know money at an online bank is safe?" Matt's answer is pretty basic. He just recommends readers to confirm FDIC insurance using FDIC's BankFind tool at Unfortunately, this doesn't totally verify internet banks that have web addresses different than the main bank's web address. I discussed this issue in my post Verifying Your Internet Bank Deposits are FDIC Insured.
Ken TuminKen Tumin5,471 posts since
Nov 29, 2009
Rep Points: 125,634
1. Friday, January 4, 2013 - 11:25 AM
I hate to be a party pooper but when it comes to big sums of money, I just could never entrust it to any online bank no matter how high it's rating was and inspite of the FDIC insurance.  For peace of mine, I have to know all my banks are in driving distance and in a building.  I will use certain federal credit unions  but look for ones who have Shared Branches in my city.  Just my personal preference especially with the financial condition of our country. 
paoli2paoli21,401 posts since
Aug 10, 2011
Rep Points: 6,135
2. Friday, January 4, 2013 - 11:47 AM
"Using the Internet to bank, buy music, or shop is still as safe or safer than visiting brick-and-mortar locations, as long as consumers take precautions and know what to do if they notice any suspicious activity."

Is It Safe to Bank Online?
Is It Safe to Bank Online? - US News and World Report

ShorebreakShorebreak2,677 posts since
Apr 6, 2010
Rep Points: 14,533
3. Friday, January 4, 2013 - 3:51 PM
Fraud is Fraud.  Assuming you are confident the bank is FDIC insured, fraud is no less likely to happen just because it is an online bank.  Thankfully, you probably aren't missing out on much interest these days staying local.  Naturally, it is your money though and you have to be able to sleep at night.  Most of our clients would run out of banks/credit unions if they had to stay local though.
ChrisCDChrisCD70 posts since
Nov 18, 2010
Rep Points: 457
4. Friday, January 4, 2013 - 6:25 PM
Chris:  My decisions about where I go to bank has nothing to do with concerns about fraud.  I also don't just stay local.  Unfortunately, with such low rates, I am forced to go to other towns to find banks giving me a bit more of a better rate.  I think you may have misunderstood my post. 
paoli2paoli21,401 posts since
Aug 10, 2011
Rep Points: 6,135
5. Friday, January 4, 2013 - 10:49 PM
For me, Alliant CU is quite satisfactory. The interest on my savings may not be stellar, at 0.8%, but the ease of shifting money from savings to checking, the free checks, no fees, no gimmicks, combined with a website even this dinosaur can navigate, priceless. They plop my Alliant IRA CD interest each month into my savings account. Like clockwork.

Painless. Once every month or so, I transfer money from savings to checking (with the click of a mouse), write out a check to myself, and deposit it in Wells Fargo savings (my ATM account). I know, I know, I could use shared branch credit union ATMs, but I have had this particular ATM account "forever" (since it was First Interstate Bank), and I'm quite happy.
BozoBozo137 posts since
Feb 14, 2011
Rep Points: 944
6. Saturday, January 5, 2013 - 12:25 AM
Splitting your funds among multiple institutions is a good idea.
PastTensePastTense8 posts since
Dec 16, 2010
Rep Points: 33